Home Is Where We Park It:  Rainbow Plantation, Summerdale Alabama

Date:  May 22, 2019

Bill, Follow Up Doctor’s Appointment

National Naval Aviation Museum

I guess it’s time to get caught up.   So what have been up to?   Let’s go back to yesterday and we’ll start there.

I needed to get back to the VA for a follow up regarding my finger.  We also had more to see at the National Naval Aviation Museum.  

First stop was the VA outpatient clinic in Pensacola.  I needed  to know the status of my poor, sorry finger.  Up until now things at the various VA clinics had gone rather smoothly.  This time we hit a brick wall.   All this time and I never knew that the VA was organized into regional centers and they don’t talk to one another.  Meaning, each time you move to a new regional center you have to register and arrange to have your medical records retrieved from where you have been.  This was beginning to look like a long, difficult day.  Until, until God once again brought us to the right person at the right time.  A care coordinator who had years of experience and knew exactly what to do, and how to get it done in record time.  The net result was we were in and out in a matter of hours instead of having to spend a full day there.  My finger?  Healing nicely, thank you and no complications.

Follow up appointment over it was time to head back to the National Naval Aviation Museum.  This would be our third day there and I’ll be honest, I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I go there.  I want more, more days, lots of days there.  Only because I know we’ll be coming back to this area can I call it quits after today.  But we’ll be back.  There is just that much to see.

This time we’re going to look at one more special display area.  I’ll be honest we’re only going to be able to skim through this section since there is just so much to cover and see.  Here we go.


First up is the USS Langley.  Originally known as the USS Jupiter the ship was first constructed to carry coal.  It took two years to convert the ship to an aircraft carrier.  Officially named the Langley, it was nicknamed the Covered Wagon because of the appearance of her flight deck.  In 1942 the ship was sunk the result of a Japanese air attack.

IMG_2282 This is the USS Wasp the last Navy aircraft to enter service before the beginning of WW II.  The ship served at first in the Atlantic theater and then moved to the Pacific theater.  Among those who served on board was the actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  This was the third Navy aircraft to be lost to enemy action.  The ship was sunk by an enemy torpedo in 1942.



This is the USS Intrepid.  Commissioned in 1943 the ship saw extensive action in the Pacific theater.  Torpedoed once and hit by kamikazes twice the ship earned the nickname Evil I.  After the war the ship served as a recovery vessel for the Mercury space program and also saw action in Vietnam.



This is one of the propellers that once propelled the USS Intrepid.  It is 15 feet in diameter and was one of the propellers installed when it was first commissioned.


Now we come to this


Somewhere in the Pacific theater.





A model of the ship.  I was absolutely amazed at the attention to detail that was apparent.




Barbara found them all though it took some doing.  This is what I mean when I say attention to detail.


We move now to a display that recreates a portion of an actual flight deck of an aircraft carrier.  The Cabot was one of nine light carriers commissioned during WW II.  It was


nicknamed the Iron woman.  The replica Island of the ship viewed here was built by the museums staff using actual blue prints with a slight reduction to the islands height due to the ceiling height in the museum.




This is a scale model of the ship, again I was absolutely amazed by the attention to detail.



Working on their tan.



As we discovered with the Alabama one of the primary antiaircraft weapons Navy ships carried were 40 mm guns.   With a fire rate of 160 rounds per minute the gun barrels heated quickly and so were covered with a water jacket through which cooling water was pumped when the gun was in action.

IMG_2467 Two  future presidents – Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush served on light carriers.This is the type of plane that George H. W. Bush flew while on carrier duty.  It was a TBM Avenger.  Look closely and you’ll see his name just under the canopy.   


The Avenger was a torpedo bomber and during the war more than lived up to its name.  It was one of the most versatile of the Navy’s aircraft and became a mainstay on carrier decks.


That brings us to the end of this special display but not to the end of other displays and aircraft on display at the museum which we’ll hopefully be able to share with you in future blogs.  We have a whole other building yet to cover.

Regarding our activities today, this is where we went to today and we’ll cover it in the future.



Time now to call it a day.  We’ve been busy sightseeing but now it is time to switch gears and get ready to move on down the road.  We have some projects that we need to finish before we leave.

When we first arrived here we sort of looked at one another and said Why are we staying here two weeks?  Now we know.  We’ve done a lot of exploring, discovered doctors for Barbara, caught up with our mail, and finished a few projects.  It’s been a great time in a great area.

So our day on The Road of Retirement has come to a close.  We’ve had another fantastic day traveling along, hand in hand, singing our song.  Till tomorrow then when we’ll share more with you of what we’ve done over the last few days.

Thanks again for coming along, we enjoyed your company.  Catch you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road









  1. Glad to hear you are both doing well. That museum looks awesome. Happy for you both that you are living a dream. Glad we can be enjoying it via the blog.


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